Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Rarely Ever Seen,,,


Family portrait...I think this is the only one of all for of us. I should probably work on that next year.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Just as a check, I wanted to compare M against expected milestones for 12 months. I am not one to put too much value on these lists, but I do think they do provide a good guide for kids and can be a good way to make sure your kids are at least on the right track.

So here are expected milestones which I took from (http://www.med.umich.edu/yourchild/topics/devmile.htm) If you're interested they have lists for multiple ages.

Movement Milestones

  • Gets to sitting position without assistance
  • Crawls forward on belly by pulling with arms and pushing with legs
  • Assumes hands-and-knees position
  • Creeps on hands and knees supporting trunk on hands and knees
  • Gets from sitting to crawling or prone (lying on stomach) position
  • Pulls self up to stand
  • Walks holding on to furniture
  • Stands momentarily without support
  • May walk two or three steps without support

Milestones In Hand and Finger Skills

  • Uses pincer grasp
  • Bangs two cubes together
  • Puts objects into container
  • Takes objects out of container
  • Lets objects go voluntarily
  • Pokes with index finger
  • Tries to imitate scribbling

Language Milestones

  • Pays increasing attention to speech
  • Responds to simple verbal requests
  • Responds to “no”
  • Uses simple gestures, such as shaking head for “no”
  • Babbles with inflection
  • Says “dada” and “mama”
  • Uses exclamations, such as “oh-oh!”
  • Tries to imitate words

Cognitive Milestones

  • Explores objects in many different ways (shaking, banging, throwing, dropping)
  • Finds hidden objects easily
  • Looks at correct picture when the image is named
  • Imitates gestures
  • Begins to use objects correctly (drinking from cup, brushing hair, dialing phone, listening to receiver)

Social and Emotional Milestones

  • Shy or anxious with strangers
  • Cries when mother or father leaves
  • Enjoys imitating people in play
  • Shows specific preferences for certain people and toys
  • Tests parental responses to his actions during feedings (What do you do when he refuses a food?)
  • Tests parental responses to his behavior (What do you do if he cries after you leave the room?)
  • May be fearful in some situations
  • Prefers mother and/or regular caregiver over all others
  • Repeats sounds or gestures for attention
  • Finger-feeds himself
  • Extends arm or leg to help when being dressed

The items highlighted in red, he does not do. It's not surprising that all the items in which he doesn't meet have to do with speech. I already knew he was behind. The twins didn't say their first word until after 12 months (which is considered delayed) and of course S is currently in speech therapy. For awhile I really thought M would talk on time because he was much more verbal as a young baby. He constantly 'talks', just never says an actual word.

Maybe he will be more like K, who was speech delayed until two and then took off!!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Mr McClingy

I love my little man but he is seriously driving me crazy :oP

M is super clingy. All day he wants to be in my lap, in my arms, right next to me. If he is sleeping he expects me to be next to him. I can't leave the room without him flipping out. As far as M is concerned, we are one person.

I assume that this is normal. He breastfeeds and we do co-sleep fairly frequently, and I know both these activities do create a more intimate and co-dependant bond. He is just about to turn one and I know others have said that this age does have some clingy features. It's just tiring. I can't get much of anything done. I can't do anything for more than a few minutes without M having a complete meltdown. I have mentioned before that he does not nap unless it's on me or beside me, so I don't even have that time to do things.

You know, the twins were not like this. They obviously did like me being in the room with them, and did have anxiety if I left them, but they didn't require 100% of my attention every waking minute. They were happy to play and entertain themselves and each other. Now, maybe it was their personality, but if they were like this because they were twins, and had each other, I am starting to re-think the idea that one baby is easier than two.

Now M was a very happy laid back baby and didn't give me any of the hassles of colic, reflux or poor night sleeping so he definitely gets points for being the easier baby. But I have a sneaking suspicion that he will be the more difficult toddler, not because he is more difficult per say, but because he doesn't have that special little built in buddy that the twins had.

Maybe twins again wouldn't have been so bad...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Adoption Fundraiser

On December 4th I will be participating in an adoption fundraiser for a friend who is trying to adopt. I'm sure many of you remember my dear friend J who suffered a major loss this past May, losing her son at 31 weeks gestation. Well, she has since started an adoption plan, and was even matched with a birth mother, however that match fell through. I will be participating in a vendor party where all vendors will be giving J their commission on all sold products.

If you are looking for any Scentsy items to give as a Christmas gift, this is a perfect time to buy. All orders are guarenteed for Christmas delivery. Please click on my 'Warmer Link' to the right if you are interested in helping. Click on Jenn's Adoption Fundraiser on my main page for your purchase to benefit her :)


Monday, November 22, 2010

Fall Fun - Picture Share


Mookie is Walking!

Finally! The kid who I swore would be walking by the end of September is finally deciding to use his ability and try the walking thing. Of course he was walking all over the house 5 or 6 steps at a time, but when I tried to film the event, he was more interested in crawling.

Here is today's attempt at documenting his huge milestone!


That is what I feel tonight. A huge sense of relief.

I took my certification exam this morning and somehow passed! I felt so unsure for most the exam. So many questions that I didn't know right away but had to sit and think my way through them. I guess even if I don't know something I can think my way to the answer...because that's what I did!

I was in shock when I saw the word PASS. I honestly had to hold back tears. I think I was ready to cry in sadness over failing and when I saw the pass come up, I was just as emotional. I don't think it really even sunk in until late today when I realized there was no more studying. No more stress. No more panic.

In even more amazing news the test which has 11 sections is graded from 1 to 4. In each section you are given as score and as long as overall you score 3 or 4 you pass. Well I scored a 4 in all 11 sections! I guess I am just too hard on myself. I am not someone who 'loves' myself and often carry around feelings of self doubt. I'm glad to know that at least in this case, I was wrong.

...and in more amazing news...check out my next blog post

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I usually think I am someone who is strong. I am a single mom with three young children and most days I do a pretty good job at it; I am resilient and stand up for myself; I have made it through some very difficult times and for the most part, became a better person for it.

So why...lately...do I feel weak?

Right now the main focus in life is a certification exam I am taking next Monday. So much is riding on this. Money, career, pride, and how my supervisors and colleagues will see me. I have been studying for this exam and as the test day gets closer, I get more and more doubtful of my ability to pass. I have broken down into tears feeling that the last 10 years have been for nothing. And, instead of really focusing on the material, all I can think about it how I am going to tell my supervisors that I failed. Sigh...

To make me feel worse, I have friends dealing with so much more and they are handling it with such grace.

J, who is adopting a special needs boy from Russia, has been battling uphill for weeks now. She has already had so many challenges, and yet she stays strong and just focuses on the end result.

J, who lost her precious J this May, and who was recently matched with a baby to adopt, found out yesterday that the birth mother has changed her mind. The baby was due any day. I spoke to J today and she is so calm about it, so peaceful knowing that there are greater plans in store for her. I wanted to crumble for her, but she is using her strength to move onto plan B or C or heck maybe D.

There have been a multitude of co-workers who have lost family members the last few weeks. Mothers, Grandmothers...Sisters. They are all handling it with such grace.

So, while I'm sure many of these people have their moments of weakness and vulnerability behind closed doors, their projection of strength is inspiring.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Black Cloud

It seems like our family is under a black cloud when it comes to our pets. It makes me wonder...what is next?

Our family has three dogs. Maddy is mine, and Jessie and Tigger are my parents, however Maddy and Jessie came into the family when I still lived at home, so they both seem more like every ones. Tigger was added after I moved out, but still is around enough that there is a bond, especially with the twins.

Well about 2 months ago, Jessie had to be put down due to a large bladder tumor. She was nine years old. My dad took the loss harder then any of us thought he would, but he seemed okay within a few days. Jessie was cremated and her ashes spread at my parents cabin, which was one of her favorite places.

About 2 weeks after this, my mom hit a dog with her car. The dog was unleashed and ran across the road after dark. My mom called the police and the dog was taken to an emergency vet, but the feeling is that most likely the dog would have been put down.

About two weeks ago, my dad brought Tigger to the vet to evaluate some nodules under her front leg. The vet wasn't sure what they were but wanted to remove them. Last Tuesday, November 9th, Tigger underwent surgery to remove the nodules. Yesterday my dad got the news that they were an aggressive form of cancer. Tigger is only six. Right now, since Tigger is pain free, very active and showing no sign of illness, we will wait and see what happens. But, sadly, the day will come, hopefully not any time soon, that Tigger will also have to be put down.

And then of course Maddy being attacked on Sunday. She is doing better. Still mostly stays in one spot, but she is eating better, drinking and when she does get up to move, she doesn't seem nearly as sore. She is still on pain meds around the clock and antibiotics. Tomorrow I will remove her drains. Everyday she looks a bit better.

The twins had to process the loss of Jessie and will have to do the same with Tigger eventually. I'm hoping nothing else occurs with Maddy. I would hate for the kids to lose three dogs so closely together.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tooth Number Two and Three

This morning tooth number two and three popped through. They are on the bottom, the two to the left of the first tooth.

So he now has his two front bottom teeth, and one more to the left :0)

My boy is growing up.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ouch...Poor Maddy!


Today while at work, my dad had the dogs out in my backyard. One of the neighbors has a German Shepherd and out of nowhere, the dog made a bee-line towards my dog and started to attack her. Luckily my dad was there, and as he fought off the other dog, Maddy was able to get away. Initially my parents felt that the wounds were superficial and that they would heal on their own, but soon after realized that Maddy needed to be seen by a My dad took her to the emergency vet. My dad still only thought that Maddy would just need some stitches, but that was quickly proven wrong.

She had to undergo surgery to clean out and debride 5 different wounds. She has drains in two of them, and sadly has to wear that horrible cone thingie. She is on three different meds, including pain pills, anti-inflammatories and antibiotics.

Initially the people said they would pay for her bills, but now are complaining that they don't have the money right now. My dad felt that they took the situation seriously, but then they haven't returned any calls since Maddy has been home from the vet. My dad asked them to come and see Maddy so that they would know exactly how bad the attack was. So far, no response.

My parents filed a police report and animal control will be notified in the am. So far, all people are saying is that a report will be filed. I can't wait to talk to them, because I am not happy with just a report. I would like something more to happen. I am extremely upset. Not just because my poor dog was brutally attacked, but because this could have been one of my children. The twins play in the backyard all the time. I am now terrified that this dog may come around again and something much worse could happen.

Once I talk to the police and animal control, I will follow up with the owners of this dog. I will be honest though, I will not be happy with anything less than having the dog removed from my neighborhood. I have already prepared myself that this outcome is highly unlikely, but something more than paper work needs to occur.

I WILL NOT WAIT for this to happen again.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

And...the Mook!

What can be said about the Mook that I haven't already posted?

Overall, M is still a very laid back, easy going baby. He doesn't really require any special routine and is usually happy as long as someone is paying him attention. He is standing on his own, cruising like crazy, and babbling. He loves to play 'peek-a-boo' and there is nothing better than being chased. He is still being nursed, however he is more interested at night than during the day.

The most important thing in M's life, besides me of course (lol) is food. He is obsessed. I have never know a baby to be so fixated on food. If anyone around him is eating, and it doesn't matter what, he has to have some of it. He only has one tooth, but that doesn't stop him from eating it all. M is not fed any baby food but rather he has a small plate of what ever we are having. I really don't know how he's not a rolly polly thing with as much as he eats.

M is also very bonded with his siblings. S can make his face light up when he walks into the room. M loves to play cars or 'men' with S. He loves to climb all over his brother and even appreciates some rough play once in awhile. With K, Mook seems to like 'chasing' the best. K will chase M around the kitchen island or even just a chair. It's so cute to see as Max giggles with excitement the whole time. I LOVE to watch the kids play together. It is beyond cute to watch how M already looks up to, and loves his older siblings, as well as seeing how amazing the older kids are with M.

Sadly, M will be one in less than a month! I am working on planning his first birthday. I think he has about 3 more teeth about to make an iminant appearance, but I think I also said this several weeks ago. He could be walking by now if he wanted to - cruises like a pro, and runs around the house behind his push toys - but I think he is going to take his time. His new learned skill is climbing the stairs, which he has made into a game, especially if I have said 'no'. He is wearing 18 month clothing because he is too tall for 12 months. I believe he's about 20 pounds.

He is growing quickly before my eyes and I wish he would slow down!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Little Miss K


K, what to say about K :o)

K is such an articulate and verbal child. She discusses concepts and ideas that seem advanced for her age. S's speech therapist was shocked when I told her that K started out speech delayed as well. She loves to play games which make her think - opposites, rhyming, describe the animal - and she would play them all day if you let her. She seems like a very smart girl and loves to be given the opportunity to show that.

K is also a great artist. She draws all the time. Her drawing skills are actually pretty good. I would love if she would spend more time focusing on writing her letters vs pictures of princess' and aliens, but I do enjoy her work.

K is still very much the diva and center of her world, but she doesn't do it in a way that makes her a brat - I know this sounds impossible, but it really is the case. She can be sassy at times but usually knows where the line is. She acts very mature and often enjoys conversing with the adults around her. At school her teacher says that she is a wonderful, thoughtful student, but very quiet. Just recently though, she is started to come out of her shell and acting more like the K we all know.

And just to share, K has recovered 100% from her surgery this summer.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Let's Do a Few Updates

It's been awhile since I have given some good updates, tonight I will do S :o)

S is doing very well. He is excelling in school. His teachers say he is doing very well and constantly comment on what a great kid he is. He is growing socially and loves to learn and tell me about events at school. He has a group of four boys that he hangs out with and speaks of them often. His speech is improving and his therapy has been decreased from two to one session a week. Right now our only concern is S's fine motor skills like holding and using a pencil. He is slightly behind his peers with drawing and writing his letters. He just doesn't seem to have the coordination. We have suggested an OT evaluation just to make sure there isn't something more going on.

S continues to grow as a brother. He is so awesome with M. He loves to take M under his wing and show him different toys and books. S also gets so excited when M does something new. Right now M is standing by himself and anytime he does it...S gets sooooo excited! "Mommy!! Mommy!! Maxie is standing!!" It has warmed my heart more than I can express to see how much S loves his baby brother.

We continue to struggle on a night time routine. The child would stay up all night if I would let him and then he likes to sleep in like his mama. He has also developed a tendency to break down in tears whenever something happens which he doesn't like. This is my priority behaviour to nip in the butt!

Overall S is doing great. He is growing up into a wonderful boy who is caring and compassionate. He is such a pleasure to parent and I am extremely lucky to have him in my life.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Why Having a Brother Some Times Stinks...

Today the kids took advantage of my lack of sleep and patience. They were a little off the hook most of the day and acted like wild monkeys. I had to run out and deliver some baby items to a friend who is having a baby, so I loaded all three in the car. While I was delivering said items, S felt the need to start spinning one of the back seat belts. Well, I'm sure you can figure out what happened from the above picture. K got the buckle to her eye. The picture actually makes it look better. In person she has a very noticeable black eye.

I just hope her school doesn't make a big deal about it tomorrow.

At Least I Had a Break from the Kids...Right?

This past weekend was the Twin Mom Convention. Initially this was going to be a whole weekend away with my friends and away from the kids. It changed a bit though because my parents home, which was just down the road from convention, and where everyone was going to stay, sold suddenly and became unavailable. Since the club paid for my registration, I didn't want to not go, so instead I left early Saturday morning, spent the day and then left very late that night.

Well, while I did overall enjoy my time away, it wasn't without some hurt feelings and some dicey moments.

When I first got there, I was a little taken aback when I sat down with my group, 7 women including me, and they all had matching hats with pictures of their kids, their name in glitter, other decorations, etc. I was never told of any of this. You would think if we were all going to convention together, and we were going to all wear the same thing, all members of the group would be included. Just as I was about to get over this initial hurt, we walk upstairs to the room, where the door is decorated to represent our group. Again, it's filled with every ones names, pictures of their kids and in the center is a photo shopped picture with 6 showgirls with the groups heads pasted on...one guess which mom was excluded. For about the first hour I felt like turning around and going home. I didn't feel included...or really all that wanted, but I stuck it out.

That evening the entire convention went on a river boat cruise. That was pretty entertaining. Unfortunately I pretty much had to stay seated in a chair along the top deck, because anytime I attempted to walk around I got dizzy and queasy, but it was still fun watching everyone dance, have fun, and get totally drunk :0P

After the cruise we headed over to a local restaurant for dinner - 10p by this time - and 6 of us ate and talked (one had a little too much to drink and stayed at the hotel to sleep it off). This was probably the best part.

So in the end, I did have a little break. Am I glad I went...well since I won the convention free, sure. But if I had to have paid the $80 to go...I would have just stayed home.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


This time of year, it seems like everyone starts to struggle. Financially, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. For the most part I love this time of year, but I hate to not only struggle myself, but see those around me struggle.

Financially. Sigh. Every year I use my tax refund slowly through out the year to help cover any shortages that come up month to month. Even with the extra money source I have a very tight budget. Part of that has to do with two key decisions I have made. 1.) I am only working part time. 2.) I have an in-home nanny instead of using a daycare. Both of these choices require sacrifices and creative spending, but they are choices that I don't regret. I LOVE being home with my kids more often than not. I have been able to work part time since the twins were born. Being home 4 or 5 days a week; being able to participate in day to day activities and bringing the kids to multiple play dates and outings have made this decision more than worth it in my opinion. The choice to use our nanny Q, is another decision I would never take back, and after seeing some infant daycare's recently, there is no way I can't go back to work full time and put M in one of those. So, at least for now, I will continue to use Q and work part time.

This year though I have had many unexpected financial burdens. Air conditioner going out three times and K's leg surgery just to name two. As such, my extra cash source has run dry. What a crappy time for that to happen. Luckily I had pretty much bought the twins all the Christmas gifts they were going to get. So until February when I get my refund, things will be EXTRA tight around here. I am selling old toys and other things to help pay for M's first birthday party. We won't be eating out or going anywhere special. Just good old simple living for the next few months.

Of course this extra burden effect my emotional/mental state. I feel more stressed and anxious. I don't want my kids to ever feel like they go without or that there are financial troubles. And believe me when I say, that at this point, there is NOTHING they have ever gone without. I try to look at this time as a good thing for us to simplify life and get into a more frugal way of living, without buying all the extra 'crap' that none of us really need. Honestly, even once I get my refund, I am thinking I will continue this way of living and maybe work to pay off my debts. As long as no big unexpected expense comes up...I should be okay.

Physically is another struggle for me...but one that is not unique to this time of year. My MS still seems to be controlled. No obvious problems. My weight on the other hand...I don't even want to talk about it. Right now my plan is to start a major diet January 2011. I know what you're thinking...why wait two months. Well, I know that the Holidays will not be good for me. I figure if I start now I will just set myself up for failure. So...right now, January it is. Of course, without the extra cash and the frequent fast food/convenience eating, I may start to loose a little without really trying.

Sleep is another area in which I need to do SOMETHING! I can't fall asleep before 1am. On the days I have to wake up at 5:30a to go to work I am dying! And that's not even considering that Max is now waking several times a night to nurse. When I don't work I nap once or even twice a day depending on what Max does. I am always tired. I never have any energy. This started late in my pregnancy with Max and never got any better. I need to fix this. I don't think I can be successful with losing weight if I don't get a handle on this as well.

Sorry for this long diatribe of crap. Just had to spew this out there. Get it off my chest. Maybe it will make me feel a little better :0)

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